Duterte asks Congress to reinstate death penalty for drugs, plunder

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President Rodrigo Duterte laments how the problem of illegal drugs persists in the country.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 22) — President Rodrigo Duterte asked Congress on Monday to reinstate the death penalty for heinous crimes related to dangerous drugs and plunder.

"The scourge of illegal drugs will not be crushed unless we also eliminate corruption that allows this social monster to survive," Duterte said during his fourth State of the Nation Address at the Batasang Pambansa.

The President had referred to how drugs reportedly fueled the five-month siege of Marawi City in 2017. Duterte said government forces had seized methampetamine hydrochloride (shabu) worth millions in pesos, and lamented at the number of deaths of soldiers and police.

"It pains me to say that we have not learned our lesson. The illegal drug problem persists. Corruption continues and emasculates the courage we need to sustain our moral recovery initiatives," he said.

The revival of the death penalty was passed by the House in the 17th Congress, but the Senate failed to follow through.

Neophyte Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, who won a seat under the President's ticket, is batting for the reinstatement of the death penalty. Dela Rosa, a former national police chief, had implemented the government's bloody drug war.